Ten out of every 100 children, aged 5-18 living in Bangladesh’s urban areas, are overweight while 4% are obese, says a new study.
It indicates that there is a double burden of both under-nutrition (30pc) and over-nutrition (14pc). A sharp decrease in the prevalence of underweight was observed with increase in age among the children, but a slow rise in overweight and obesity was observed with increase in age.
The study, ‘Obesity prevalence and patterns of diet and physical activity among children and adolescents in urban areas in Bangladesh’, was unveiled at a dissemination seminar at ICDDR,B yesterday.
The Centre for Control of Chronic Diseases of the ICDDR,B with support from the National Nutrition Services of Institute of Public Health Nutrition conducted the study in seven cities of Bangladesh, aiming to estimate the prevalence of obesity in children (aged 5-18 years) in urban areas as well as their patterns of diet and physical activity.
Around 4,100 children living in 30 wards of each of the seven city corporations were brought under the study.
The study shows about 56% of children had a normal weight while 30% weighed less than the normal weight (malnutrition). About 14% children had a weight above the normal ranges while 4% were obese.
The assessment of their diets reveals that 98% children consumed rice or bread at least four times a week. Consumption of other types of food was less than three times in a week. These were meat (24%), egg (60%), legume (71%), vegetables (61%), milk (56%) and fruits (22%).
The study says more than half of the study children had frequently taken a local fried snack such as shingara, samusa, chop, beguni, peaju. About 20% children eat fast food -- pizza, burger and fried chicken.